The creatures which wander around in The Land of MUD are called 'mobiles', largely for historical reasons. They come in many shapes and sizes, and all are endowed with some degree of intelligence; they have the potential to do anything a player can, and more besides! So do not be surprised to find them picking up weapons that are better than the ones they presently have, or dropping heavy objects when attacked, or even casting spells at you.

Not all mobiles are vicious killing machines. Many will hardly notice you if you don't bother them, and of those mobiles that do attack, some are so puny as to be fairly easy to dispose of, even for novices. Many of the stronger mobiles consider it beneath their dignity to attack low-level players, but as you accumulate points they may turn their attention to you. Likewise, if you annoy them, for example by hitting them or stealing things from them, they may get angry enough to want to teach you a lesson!

MUD has a large number of mobiles, a selection of ones not too hard to find being:

  • Rats - individually not hard to kill, but there are lots of them...
  • Zombies - they block your movement, but aren't too hard to destroy.
  • Skeletons - like zombies, but faster moving and much tougher.
  • Goblins - very easy EXCEPT for number 10, who is quite awkward!
  • Dwarfs - range from very easy to very hard, gauge from their descriptions.
  • Snakes - quite difficult, mainly because they flee a lot!
  • Sharks - cold, calculating killers, be careful!
  • Thief - very hard, and he steals things too.
  • Magpie - not so dangerous, but it flees a lot (and also steals things).
  • Man - normally placid, but not the pushover as he looks...
  • Parrot - puts up a fight, infuriating conversationalist.
  • Raven - minds its own business, occasionally speaks.
  • Mouse - a doddle!
  • Ox - it doesn't do much damage, but takes ages to beat.
  • Dragonfly - anyone can kill this, but some STILL use longswords "just in case"!
  • Butterfly - they don't come easier than the butterfly!
  • Ram - moderately difficult, hates players.
  • Goat - will attack virtually anything that moves! Formidable fighter.
  • Hedgehog - simple to kill, better just to hit it.
  • Wolf - always attacks, usually wins, a nasty piece of work.
  • Wraith - mean, fast-moving, but not inclined to attack.
  • Vampire - VERY dangerous! Casts spells, regenerates, is very strong. Avoid it!
  • Dragon - absolutely deadly! Even fleeing from it usually kills you!
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Your persona can be killed in a number of ways in MUD, but fighting is almost unique in that if you die in combat then your persona is obliterated. Whether you started the fight or not is completely irrelevant. With other forms of death, you can normally come back immediately (albeit with fewer points than you had before!).

When a fight starts in MUD, it continues until either party is dead, or has fled. Every few seconds, an exchange of blows takes place. The higher your dexterity, the greater your chance of hitting your opponent. The higher your strength, the more damage you will do when you hit. The higher your stamina, the more damage you can take. When your stamina drops to 0 or less, you die. If you flee from a fight you will lose points, but obviously not as many as if you had died! More points are gained for killing an opponent than for having one flee from you, too. In both cases, however, everything they were carrying will be left behind on the ground.

A weapon increases the damage you deliver, but some weapons require that you have a certain strength before you can wield them. Useful weapons include:

  • lit sticks
  • daggers
  • the staff
  • axes
  • picks
  • swords

Your strength and dexterity are modified depending on how many objects you are carrying, how much they weigh, whether you can see your opponent or not, and how injured you are. Thus, if someone attacks you, the first thing to do is to USE a weapon, but almost as important is to drop anything big and heavy that you don't need for the fight!

what the example does

Kill <creature>
k banshee
Initiate a fight with the banshee.
USE <weapon>
use staff
Use the staff as a weapon in this fight.
Kill <creature> WIth <weapon>
k banshee wi staff
Previous two combined.
Leave the fight and move in a random direction.
Flee <direction>
f o
Leave the fight and move in the out direction.
Leave the fight and quit immediately.
HIT <creature>
hit rat
Hurt the rat without starting a fight.
HIT <creature> WIth <weapon>
hit rat wi stick
As above, use the stick.
Accept/offer a mutual withdrawal, with no resulting points loss if your opponent also withdraws.
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One of the great pleasures of an interactive game like MUD is the ability to chat to other players at will. This is essential to your long-term survival or success in MUD. Some monsters, impossible to fight alone, can be tackled easily in groups of two or three. Some treasures inaccessible to a player acting independently can be found and gained through co-operation. Communication is therefore an indispensible aid in your quest to become a wizard or witch, as well as being fun in its own right!

There are three primary ways to communicate:

  • shouting
  • speaking
  • telepathy

A shout is a text message which is seen by everyone in The Land simultaneously (well, except for characters who have been deafened!). However, players not in the same room as you will not normally be able to tell who did the shouting, they'll just hear you as a male or female voice in the distance. To shout, the command is SHout <message>, where <message> is what you want to shout enclosed in quotation marks.


Speaking is used to conduct longer conversations with people in the same room. Your message is sent to everyone in the same location as you, but not to anyone else. People are told that it's you who has said the message (unless you are invisible, of course, then they'd just know 'someone' said it). The command is just <message>.


Telepathy is a means of communicating with an individual directly over any distance. No-one else receives the message, and the recipient is told your identity. Telepathy is the most civilised way to communicate, but can have its drawbacks - people who appear to be impolite by ignoring you may in fact be deafened (which blocks telepathy), or simply in the middle of a fight where their minds are on other things! The command is the name of the player, followed by <message>


If another player's message interrupts your typing, press control-r and the line you've typed so far will be redisplayed.

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Once in the game, you have two immediate options:

  • stand and watch
  • participate

Everyone will stand and watch at some time early in their career, since things can be happening so quickly that it's all the inexperienced player can do to keep up with events, let alone do anything themselves! However, sooner or later you'll have to get to grips with what MUD is really all about, participation.

Listed here are some of the basic commands you'll need in order to take your first steps in The Land. Around 50% of the commands actually issued by players are directions, and as with most commands they can be shortened. The main directions (with minimum abbreviation in upper case) are

  • North
  • NorthEast
  • East
  • SouthEast
  • South
  • SouthWest
  • West
  • NorthWest
  • IN
  • Out
  • Up
  • Down

In the following table of other useful commands, things written in angly brackets mean 'an object of this type', eg. <creature> means 'any player or monster'. Communication and fighting are dealt with later.

what the example does

DRop <object>
dr all
Drop everything that you're holding.
FOLLOW <creature>
follow nancy
Until your next movement command, you go where Nancy goes.
Get <object>
g t
Pick up all the treasure in this room.
GIve <object> TO <creature>
gi straw to alf
Transfer the straw from you to Alf.
Give a (hopefully) useful help message.
List all that you are carrying.
Describe your room in full, plus its contents.
Look <container>
l box
Describe what objects can be seen inside the box.
Look <creature>
l mouse
Describes the mouse in detail, giving some indication of how injured it is.
PUT <object> INto <container>
put stick in box
Insert the stick in the box.
Leave the game.
REMove <object> From <container>
rem tin f box
Takes out any tin there is in the box.
Gives a run-down on your persona. For less detail, use QuickScore.
Gradually recover lost stamina.
STeal <object> From <creature>
st ruby f tom
Transfer possession of the ruby from Tom to you.
List all (visible) players currently in the game. For a shorter version, use QuickWho.
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